PureLiFi, the Edinburgh technology firm that uses light to provide wireless communications, is carrying out the world’s first large-scale trial of its system in Singapore.
The company, formed in 2012 as a spin-off from the University of Edinburgh, said the tie-up with the city state’s Info-communications Development Media Authority (IMDA) marks the first time a city has embraced the technology – which has the potential to be significantly faster than current wifi systems – on such a large scale.
The trial in Singapore comes after the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek, led a funding round that took the total raised by PureLifi to more than £7 million.
Harald Burchardt, chief operating officer at PureLiFi, said: “Singapore has demonstrated once again that the nation are global leaders in the adoption of innovative technologies.
“The vision to offer their country state-of-the-art wireless communications systems is reinforced by their action to quickly enable strong industry partnerships and an environment conducive to future commercial exploitation. We certainly hope other countries and regions will follow suit in embracing LiFi technology and its transformative potential.”
PureLifi was co-founded by chief scientific officer Harald Haas, who is credited with coining the term “LiFi” – an industry that US market researchers estimate could be worth almost (£6bn) by 2020.
Chief executive Alistair Banham said the IMDA initiative “could signal the start of new paradigm” in the battle to find new bandwidth to cope with soaring numbers of devices that connect wirelessly to the internet.
“LiFi is a technology that will create new markets and merge two huge industries – lighting and communications,” he added.
“This will result not only in new far-reaching commercial opportunities but also enhance the way we live in this mobile and wireless world.”